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Symbols and Signs

April 15, 2013, Day 16, Cardenuela to Burgos (15 km)

Outer Journey

An easy walk and a short day .  The two difficult aspects were walking into Burgos through the industrial area.  It may have been almost half of the day.  The other is the shock of the hustle and bustle of a large city after being in small towns with populations of less than 20 inhabitants.  It shocks the system.  I enjoyed my walk with my new South African friends through the towns of Obaneja and Castanares.  I was very happy to check into a good hotel after so many Albergues and couldn’t wait to see if my iPad arrived! I had so much trouble using the Internet in the Albergues (if they had any at all) that I had my iPad shipped.  So hopefully, I can be more consistent in my posting!

Inner Journey

I love all of they symbolism and metaphors along The Camino.  Of course there is the scallop shell which is so beautiful.  There are many stories about why the scallop shell is used.  Historically, pilgrims walked The Camino as a way of receiving retribution for their sins.  The particular scallop shell is only found in Galicia; therefore, having one was evidence that you completed the journey.  I love that the scallop shell has been a sign of the feminine since antiquity.  Venus and Aphrodite are often depicted with the shell. I also love to see all the different types of Crosses…The Celtic Cross, the cross of the Knights Templar, The Magdalene Cross, Greek, Roman and many more.  I always loved crosses.  To me the cross has always represented strength.  More recently, when I see a cross, I am reminded of the four elements (fire, water, earth and air) and the four directions (North, South, East and West) and that they are all within me.  I am also reminded of the mystical union of heaven and earth and more specifically, for me that I am an Infinite Being living in matter or a body.

I also love crossing the “Puentes” or bridges.  I use them as thresholds and leave behind something each bridge I cross.  There are beautiful bridges along The Camino Each time I cross one of these bridges I consider what I am walking towards in my life…what I am having more of and what I am leaving behind…what I no longer am choosing.

I love seeing the 5 sided star or pentagon that has been prevalent in so many cultures and of course the use of the fleur d’ lis which amongst many things is a sign for the Order of the Magdalene.

The Camino is a great place to allow symbols and metaphors to inform, teach and reshape the Self as the body listens to the history and folklore that is hidden.

Buen Camino!




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